BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — Security is tighter at the Mall of America in Bloomington on Tuesday after a chaotic scene broke out Monday night.
People were caught on camera throwing chairs, punches and shouting obscenities at each other. Nine people were arrested after as many as 10 fights broke out.
There’s noticeably more security at the mall now. At the height of the incident Monday night, there were 30 Bloomington Police officers at the scene, and help had to be called in from other departments. That’s on top of the mall security already on hand.
By the entrances, in the rotunda and all throughout Mall of America, there are now more officers.
“This week we wanted to bring on extra security, ours and Bloomington police, just to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Dan Jasper with the Mall of America.
Witnesses said Monday’s brawl at the mall was started by a fight between two girls.
“They were yelling at each other. Yeah they were calling each other names and cursing each other out,” said a pair of witnesses.
Then it was like a stampede of people. Some were running for safety, while others were trying to capture the melee on their phones.
In reaction, a number of stores locked their doors. And at first, a staff member with Mall of America called for the entire mall to be locked down. However, mall officials didn’t believe the chaos called for such a reaction.
“Somebody jumped the gun, they hadn’t been asked to do that yet. It was just a mistake on our part,” said Jasper.
Mall of America officials are now hoping that the added security will put shoppers at ease.
“When we walked in (today) we saw a police officer right there, and was like “wooh!’ ok they’ve got it a little more under control today,” said one shopper.
Some of the people arrested Monday night were teenagers. In 1996, the mall introduced a policy that requires anyone under 16 years old to be there with an adult, but that’s only on Fridays and Saturdays.
The mall will work with Bloomington Police and decide if that’s a policy that needs to be strengthened.